My first taste of cashew cheese was on my birthday this past year when my friend, Ann Marie, made me a recipe that included jalapenos and pineapple. It was to die for and I devoured all of it in about 5 minutes. I then tried to recreate it but for some reason did not take into account that pineapple is very liquidy<–is that a word?…and I ended up making a delicious cashew cream…but not cashew cheese. Well, this time I did not have pineapple or jalapenos on hand but I did have a ton of cashews…and I’ve done it. I finally rocked the perfect creaminess on the inside with a slightly crunchy outer shell all while being seasoned on the inside with warming spices and on the outside with a flavorful seasoned salt. Perfection.
Is it the most creative of recipes? Absolutely not. Has it been done a jillion times on other blogs? Pretty much. Is it now on my list of party recipes because it is good as shit and will impress everyone? Absolutely yes. Like, this stuff is GOOD. I actually recommend doubling the recipe for guests because I personally ate half just doing the photo shoot. It is that addicting. Also, I suggest preparing everything the night before since it has to sit in the frige for 6 + hours. Very convenient to make it at night, then pull it out of the fridge and toss it in the oven before serving. Another fun fact about this, it is delicious cold too. You don’t actually have to bake it. I prefer it baked when eating it on crackers, but it would also be good as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, just about anything that calls for a nice creamy condiment. Get creative with it!
- 1½ cups soaked cashews
- ½ tsp minced garlic (I only had dry but fresh is good too)
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbs nutritional yeast (nooch)
- 1 tsp pepper
- juice 1 small lemon
- 4 tbs milk
- ⅓ cup water (best if you use the water your cashews soaked in)
- cheese cloth
- 1 tbs seasoned salt for outside of cheese
- Place all ingredients except milk and water in blender or food processor. Vitamix works best for this for a smoother consistency. Mixture will be very dry.
- Add milk and keep blending. Slowly add the water until mixture is still thick, but blending by itself in the vitamix or food processor. IE: you don't have to keep mixing it yourself to get it to move in the blender.
- Pour/scrape mixture onto a piece of cheese cloth. I doubled mine up for extra support. Wrap the cheese cloth around ball and tie at the top. Place cheesecloth ball in a strainer and set strainer in a sauce pan. Place in fridge for 6 or more hours, over night is best but not necessary.
- Take cheese cloth ball from fridge. Remove cheese cloth and place cashew ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle seasoned salt all over cheese.
- Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is cracking and a little firm.
- Remove from oven and enjoy with crackers or crudites. Enjoy!